May 17, 2011

36 boats won $120,000 in prize money in 17th Hatteras Village Offshore Open


By  JORDAN TOMBERLIN


Thirty-six teams of anglers vied for $120, 000 in prize money in the 17th annual Hatteras Village Offshore Open billfishing tournament, and despite some rough weather in the beginning, the tournament paid off for some lucky anglers.

A total of 14 blue marlin, three white marlin, one sailfish, one yellowfin tuna, and 13 dolphin were caught in this year’s tournament, and all of the marlin but one were released.

The event kicked off on Tuesday, May 10, with registration, a cocktail party, and dinner. Fishing began on Wednesday, May 11, and continued through Saturday, May 14, ending with a banquet and awards ceremony at the Hatteras Village Civic Center.

The tournament started off with a bang. According to Steve Jones, a Hatteras local and the first mate on the winning boat, Wired Up, Wednesday was a pretty rough day, but—at least in terms of the number of billfish released— it was the best day of the tournament.

Of the 27 boats that braved the elements on Wednesday, 10 of them released or landed fish.  There were eight blue marlin, one white marlin, and five dolphin caught on Wednesday, and all but one of the marlin were released.

The one marlin that was brought in turned out to be a whopper—a 511.2-pound fish that resulted in a big pay out for the Low Profile, captained by Hatteras local Darrin Callahan.  It was the largest blue marlin caught in the tournament, netting Callahan and crew the largest pay out— $30, 600 in prize money.

Overall billfish winner, Wired Up, also had a good showing on Wednesday, catching a blue marlin, a white marlin, and a dolphin, and they were the only boat to catch a fish on Thursday—a day when most boats chose to take their lay day. Only 10 of the 36 boats ventured offshore because of an unfavorable forecast.

“[The weather] was about the same as Wednesday,” said Jones, “but it’s a good thing we went, because we caught another blue marlin.”

Indeed, it was that second blue marlin that put Wired Up on top, allowing the crew and anglers to take home the top prizes in the level 1 and 2 billfish category, as well as the daily marlin release payouts for both Wednesday and Thursday.  In total, Jones, Captain Jerry Shepherd, and the team of Virginia anglers aboard the Wired Up won more than $30,000 in prize money.

“It was like a reunion,” Jones said of the experience, noting that he had fished on the same boat, with the same captain and team in last year’s tournament, and had won the Hatteras Harbor Offshore Open with Shepherd 25 years ago.

Other top prize winners this year included Sea Striker, captained by Adrian Holler; Outer Limits, captained by Jim Rickman; Fishing Partner, captained by Darrell Brower, and Magic Moment, captained by Edgar Styron.

Sea Striker caught and released two blue marlin and two large dolphin and took home $23,706 in prize money. Outer Limits released  two blue marlin and took home $17, 284 in prize money.

Fishing Partner released one blue marlin on Friday and won $3,718 in the daily marlin release category, and Magic Moment caught a 19.9-pound Dolphin on the last day, winning them the $3,612 daily meat fish prize for Saturday.

To see all the results from this year’s tournament, as well as pictures, individual boat details, and registration information, visit the Hatteras Village Offshore Open’s website at www.hvoo.org.


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